How many videos has your prospect watched today alone?
Chances are the answer is “several”. So a better question may be, “how many of those videos were from your brand?”.
Video marketing is a significant opportunity for brand differentiation amongst business-to-business marketers today.
Stop to consider the facts on video production and consumption:
- More than 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute (source)
- Online video consumption increased by 38% between May 2011 and May 2012 (source)
- 75% of business executives regularly watch work related video (source)
Video Adds Value to Viewers – Throughout the Lifecycle
Have you taken the time recently to reassess how video can be a powerful content channel throughout your buyer’s journey? If not, it is time to get busy.
Let’s walk through a typical B2B sales cycle and consider where native video helps your customers find, connect, purchase and champion your brand.
Video in the Attract Phase
Videos create a compelling first brand experience when your building awareness for your B2B products and services. I know you’re already integrating videos in your blog content, but there are more Top of the Funnel opportunities at hand.
Consider using video to bring your event invitations to life with a sneak peek into keynote speakers or product announcements. Working to highlight your internal subject matter experts? Video provides an opportunity to showcase your depth of expertise and powerfully build credibility – all while alleviating hurdles in getting engineers to write marketing copy.
Video Improves Ranking and Convert Better
Trying to get on page one for a competitive keyword? Adding video improves your chances, 53 times over according to Forrester Research (2012). Trying to earn more quality inbound links? MOZ tell us that video content attracts 3x’s the linking domains as plain text.
Lighten Up: Humor Works in B2B Video
In the awareness phase of the sales process, humor can catapult your video and expand your reach exponentially. B2B products don’t have to be boring as Cisco shows in their video marketing from Corporate Comedian Tim Washer.
Video in the Covert Phrase
During the consideration and nurturing phase of your buyer’s journey, videos bring to life your powerful proof points. Testimonials and case studies resonate with prospects when customers authentically voice their concerns and solutions found. Don’t forget to extend the reach of these videos by enabling and encouraging viewers to share your videos with other decision-makers and influencers inside their organization.
Another key opportunity to convert visitors to prospects during the consideration phase includes demonstration videos. Take time to understand how video can enhance and extend the value – to your viewers of course – of product demos. Keep length in mind as you repurpose demo content into bite-sized, shareable content chunks such that your prospect can envision the benefits when using your product for themselves.
Videos in the Close Phase
Now things are going well in your sales process and your prospect has asked for a proposal. During the close phase, video is your friend in illuminating your unique selling proposition. Instead of (or in complement to) the expected written descriptions, bring answers alive with video featuring the people who will be hands on post-sale. Videos can start building and broadening those relationships even prior to the sale.
And what if you answered common sales objectives with a video from a client who’s overcome the challenge and achieved success with you? A powerful sales tool indeed.
Is customer experience central to your brand promise? Here’s a great place to reinforce your commitment by using video to jump-start the onboarding process. Videos that explain and walk clients through any set-up processes make it easy for your new client to begin realizing the benefits of working with your team and fulfill your brand promise.
Videos in Post-Purchase, Loyalty Phase of Delight
Just because you’ve closed the sale doesn’t mean you should stop marketing or using video to communicate with your clients.
Easy opportunities for post-purchase videos include “How to” video series that demonstrate best practices using your product or services.
Expanding your market offering? Show – don’t just tell – customers the additional benefits now available to them. And use video executive briefings to continue to reinforce your industry thought-leadership profile and their smart business purchase.
Newsjacking or Real-Time Marketing Video
No matter what you call the connection between your brand and news in the public domain, video can connect your brand to top-of-mind topics. Exert caution here to highlight the relevance and hopeful positive brand involvement like Rain for Rent did following Hurricane Sandy.
While by no means exhaustive, hopefully you have some new ideas for expanding your use of video in B2B marketing throughout the sales cycle. None of it is rocket science –except for NASA’s video– so, what would you add?
What videos have been effective in accelerating your buyers’ journey? What advice would you give a fellow B2B Marketer just starting to integrate video in their content marketing initiative (other than to avoid the top 8 video fails)?
Photo Credit: Infograph via D Custom, photo by Hubspot